NEW DELHI - Signalling no thaw in relations with Pakistan, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday said India wants peace with neighbours but incidents like the brutal killing of two soldiers on the LoC were simply unacceptable and the country would effectively deal with any threat.
Speaking at the governors’ conference in New Delhi, the Indian prime minister dwelled on an array of issues and said that the past year had seen improvement in internal security situation including that in (Held) Kashmir, the northeast and in the Maoist-affected areas, reported Indian media.
He said India was committed to working for good relations and peaceful existence with its neighbours but “are also firm in our resolve to deal effectively with any threat to our country”.
“Incidents like the one that took place on the LoC last month are against the norms of civilised international behaviour and are simply unacceptable to us,” he said.
India had blamed Pakistan for the January 8 killing and purported mutilation of two Indian soldiers near the Line of Control (LoC). Pakistan denies the charges in clear terms.
Following the incident, India had said there cannot be business as usual with Pakistan.
Singh said the suggestions of (Held) Kashmir Governor NN Vohra for more coherent action on the part of security agencies were worth exploring.
Singh said the government has endeavoured to bridge the development and governance deficit in the left wing extremist-affected areas and the Integrated Action Plan for 82 backward districts was beginning to show encouraging results.
The prime minister said that due to government’s efforts, the geographical spread of the menace had shown a shrinking trend and the number of Maoist incidents showed a perceptible decline over the previous year.
Referring to the December 16 gang-rape that evoked nationwide outrage, Singh said real and effective change in the status of women can come only if there is a change in societal values. Urging collective work for the goal, he suggested induction of more women in police forces.
He said the government was alive to the need to curb corruption in public life and hoped the parliament will pass the Lokpal bill in the coming days. The government was considering amending the anti-corruption Act to enable faster punishment of guilty public servants and provide more effective protection to honest ones, he added.